Consuming sugary drinks may be linked to lipid imbalance, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), according to a new study.
The study, published in Journal of the American Heart Association, said consuming 12 ounces of sugary drinks more than once a day was linked to lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and higher triglycerides in the middle-aged and older people. Both of this reportedly raises CVDs risks.Previous studies had linked added sugar to increase in CVDs risks.
"The research reinforces our understanding of potential negative impact of sugary drinks on blood cholesterol, which increases heart disease risks," said study researcher Eduardo Sanchez from the American Heart Association in the US.
It's one more reason for us to cut back on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, Sanchez added.
According to researchers, dyslipidemia could be one pathway by which sugary drinks may increase CVDs risks.
To determine the impact of sugary drinks on triglyceride and cholesterol levels, researchers studied observational medical data of 5,924 people from the Offspring and Generation 3 cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study, who were followed for 12.5 years between 1991 and 2014.
For this study, the beverages were defined as 12 ounces of sugary drinks, like soda, fruit-flavoured drinks, sports drinks, pre-sweetened coffee and tea; 12 ounces of low-calorie sweetened beverages, including naturally and artificially sweetened 'diet' soda or other flavoured drinks; or 8 ounces of 100 per cent fruit juices with no added sugar.Researchers analysed how the different drinks and their consumption correlated with changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels over four years.
They found consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (more than 12 ounces a day) was linked with 53 per cent higher incidence of high triglycerides and 98 per cent higher incidence of low HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) compared with those who consumed less than one serving a month.
Drinking low-calorie sweetened beverages didn't appear to be associated with increased dyslipidemia risk among people who regularly consumed low-calorie sweetened beverages.
According to the study, consuming up to 12 ounces of 100 per cent fruit juice a day was not associated with adverse changes in cholesterol or dyslipidemia, though further research is needed to warrant this finding.
"Reducing or eliminating sugary drink consumption may be one strategy that could help people keep their triglyceride and HDL cholesterol at healthier levels," said lead study author Nicola McKeown from Tufts University in the US.
Around 40-50 per cent US adults suffer from dyslipidemia, an imbalance of cholesterol and triglyceride in blood, which increases the risk of CVDs.